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The Most Popular Student Loan Options Today

The Best Student Loans Overview

Due to a wide variety of student loans available, higher education is accessible to a large number of people today. No matter if you are just at the beginning of your post-secondary education or you are returning to college to upgrade your degree, you can choose one of numerous options of financial aid offered to college students. Maybe you are a parent who is looking for financial assistance in paying for child’s education; there are some affordable loan options that you can opt for too. The loans for students and parents are available from the U.S. federal government, Department of Education as well as from a large number of private student loan lenders. The application process for student loans is very simple and easy and it can be completed online. It takes only a few steps and the first and most important is to complete the online FAFSA application (FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid). In addition to easy application procedure, you also have the opportunity to compare different student loan alternatives and their rates online, to make your payments when you start paying off your loans and to have approach to your account at any time.

There is a great deal of information on best student loans available today and it is important to carefully read all about existing loans so that you can choose the best financial aid option for you. Here are some of the most wanted federal and private student loan options available for paying for higher education today.

Federal Student Loans

Given the fact that student loans provided by the U.G. federal government are not based on your credit score, which means that they do not require you to have a cosigner, a job or any kind of regular income to qualify, they are very popular among students. In addition, many of federal student loans are based on student’s financial need, they offer six months grace period after student lefts school and they have different flexible repayment alternatives and low fixed interest rates. Different from private student loans, federal loans have limited loan amounts.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this type of federal financial aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time at post-secondary educational institution that participates in Federal Family Education Loan Program, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and must proof financial need.

Types of Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans include: Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans and Direct PLUS Loans. There is also the Student Loans Consolidation option available.

Subsidized Stafford Loans

Subsidized Loans which are offered to students in economic need, and their interest is subsidized while you are in school which means that they come without charge of interest during the time you are enrolled in school and during grace period and authorized deferment periods.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Unsubsidized Loans are not based on your financial need. You can opt for alternative of paying the interest while you are still in college or university as well as during grace period and deferment period or you can decide to agree for the interest to be added to the main amount of your loan. Keep in mind that with this option the total loan amount you have to pay back will be higher.

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS loans are available for parents of dependant students under 24 years of age who are either the U.S. citizens or permanent residents. In addition, parent needs to be the biological or adoptive parent of the student and the student must attend an educational institution participating in the Direct Loan Program at least on half-time basis.

Student Loans Consolidation

In case you find it hard at some point to pay back your different student loans, you can apply for student loans consolidation option that allows you to take one loan instead of several others (to consolidate multiple loans into one) and make one monthly payment instead of  numerous payments.

Application Procedure

After you collect other required documentation you have to fill out the FAFSA which is the universal application for all types of federal financial aid for college students.

Private Student Loans

The main characteristics of private student loans are that they are based on the borrower’s credit score, they are provided by different private lenders like banks or organizations and you can apply direct via lender’s application, they have various interest rates and limited repayment benefits and they have unlimited loan amounts available. Private student loans are a suitable option in case you have exhausted other loan options or if you do not qualify for federal loans. To be eligible for private student loans you have to be enrolled in school that participates in FFELP at least at half-time basis and you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Some of the most popular private student loans include Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo and AES student loans.

Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae or SLM Corporation is one of the largest student loan lenders in the U.S.A. with different loans alternatives offered to undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The most popular Sallie Mae loan options include Smart Option Student Loan (for undergraduate and graduate students), Career Training Smart Option Student Loan (for undergraduate students), residency and Relocation Loans and Bar Study Loan (for graduate students).

Wells Fargo

Besides loans Wells Fargo Company offers investment, banking, mortgage, insurance and other consumer financial options. The main benefit of borrowing from Wells Fargo is that interest rates on your loan will be reduced if you make regular payments and there are no charges applied for application, origination and loan repayment.

AES Student Loans

AES provides management services for both federal and private loans, such as Federal Stafford Loans, Parent Plus and Graduate Plus loans.

Other types of financial aid available today include scholarships and grants for college students.

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